the living heritage of mankind,
our common language
Latin has represented for the last three thousand years the most genuine expression of our common culture, European and universal. It was the language of our Roman ancestors, like Plautus and Terence, Cicero or Virgil, Seneca and Pliny, as well as Statius and Quintilian, Martial or Tacitus, Suetonius and Gellius, or later on Ausonius and Claudianus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Ambrose or Augustine.
Through writers like Boëthius and Cassiodorus, Gregory of Tours and Isidore of Seville, Latin managed to survive the fall of the Roman Empire, and continued to be used throughout the whole of the Middle Ages, as the language of jurisprudence, philosophy and theology, culminating with Thomas Aquinas.
Latin bounced back with new strength in the Renaissance, hand in hand with the extraordinary flourishing of the arts and the sciences, as a perennial vehicle of communication among nations, with luminaries as varied as the Dutch Erasmus, the Polish Copernicus, the French Descartes, the English Newton, the German Leibniz or the Swedish Linnaeus, joined together all of them by our common Latin language.
Despite the richness of our millenary culture, many people, dispossessed of their roots by the turbulent events and narrow-minded ideologies of the last couple of centuries, have currently been led to believe that the Latin language died with the last of the Romans.
Dismantling this lie, and re-endowing our society with the common cultural patrimony which is her own, is the purpose of the Schola Latína Európæa & Úniversális.
The future of Europe
The European Union, that magnificent project of peace and prosperity that followed the great wars, seems to be dangerously losing impetus in recent years, because no one dares resolutely to confront once and for all the nationalisms that divide us, nor has the ability (or the will) been found to foster the real and necessary sense that all Europeans constitute one single people. It is imperative that Europeans become aware of their cultural unity, based on their common language. Only in one language can Europeans understand themselves as Europeans, only one can give expression to a genuinely European vox populi, to pan-European media, and to a true political community of continental scale, upon which the political union can be founded which Europe so much needs.
There has never existed, nor could we find, a common European language with a real historical basis other than Latin. Without Latin there will be no European nation. Without Latin there is no Europe.
An ever greater number of people nowadays have had no contact with the Latin language during their education; and, of those who have previously studied Latin as a subject, most have ended up hating it, forgetting it, or both. This is no surprise, and should not lead us to the wrong conclusions.
First of all, nothing can possibly be learnt or taught without genuine motivation. Even though the legacy of ancient Greece is much more ample, as well as incomparably and undeniably richer, than that of the Romans, the teaching of Latin has always been more widespread than that of Greek for the very reason that it was Latin, and not Greek, that historically ended up becoming the perennial and unique expression of our common culture. Latin teachers and professors now wonder why it is that they struggle so much to motivate anyone to apply themselves to the study of our language, when for a couple of centuries they have been proclaiming the lie that Latinity lay dead in remote antiquity, and refuse to embrace its most valuable virtue, which is its perennial vigour as our European and universal language.
Secondly, treating Latin as a dead language and teaching it as if it were Egyptian, makes didactic methodology so unnecessarily dry that it is a miracle if anyone actually manages to learn anything at all that way. Teachers and professors don’t seem to want to remember that language learning is an innate capacity of humans, which ought to be totally natural and easy if only the language were taught the natural way, that is by actively using it, through listening to it and speaking it, as all other languages that people normally do learn. They stubbornly try to teach the Latin language against the grain of any natural language learning, and they obviously fail.
The Latin language can be learnt in a more pleasant, solid and efficient manner, and it is taught this way here, at the Schola Latina Europæa & Universalis, by motivated and experienced teachers, to whoever wants to learn it. Everyone interested in regaining the richness of their perennial culture and language is strongly encouraged to join one of our courses.
Other Latin learning resources that can be found on the Internet are:
Latin Background Studies, original studies and background essays on the Latin language by William Harris.
CSB/SJU Latin Language and Literature, from the Clemens Library & Alcuin Library.
Outside the virtual arena, Latin is taught in many places too; but, as we said, normally in an extremely dry fashion. Remarkable exceptions are the Fundatio Melissa, in Brussels, and the Schola Nova, an independent Belgian school where Latin is taught to the pupils from an early age.
As we said, many people think that Latin is a dead language, as dead as the European and universal culture it conveys. We are persuaded that it doesn't have to be like that, not for the culture, and not for the language on which it genuinely stands. Latin, the living language of our Roman forebears, remained the living language of our civilisation for centuries. It is a language like all others, that can be learnt in a leisurely way and spoken without difficulty in all situations of everyday life. The Schola Latina Europæa & Universalis has been created to further the perennial living usage of Latin.
Other ways of putting Latin into practice through the Internet can also be found:
Grex Latiné Loquentium, the greatest e-mail list for living Latin, where Latin is the only language allowed, and one can read the best Latin speakers the world over, and exchange messages with them.
Nuntii Latini, current news in Latin, that can be read or even directly listened to.
Ephemeris, online news, completely written in Latin and including numerous sections.
Outside the virtual arena, the Societas Circulorum Latinorum is a worldwide federation of Latin Circles, informal gatherings of people who meet locally to speak the language. Everyone is welcome to join their local group —or found one if there is none close enough—, and we encourage everyone to do so in order to practise the language of our forebears with experienced people. All levels are accepted.
There are also many summer seminars where Latin is the only language spoken. A very complete list of such seminars all over the world, updated every year, is usually provided in the pages of the association LVPA or the ALF.
The Schola Latína Európæa & Úniversális
The Schola Latina Europæa & Universalis offers one single subject, Latin as a perennial living language, and bases its teaching on the best available method for this purpose, Clément Desessard's Lingua Latina sine molestia, from the «Assimil» series. Two options are offered, a leisurely one, to be completed in two academic years, and an intensive one, in one academic year. Teaching is delivered initially either in English or in Spanish, and eventually only in Latin.
Our courses, with the title of Sermo Latinus, which emphasises their active nature, are completely free of charge, and are addressed to all those who want to learn Latin, the eternal language of our ancestors, so as to be able not only to read its texts with understanding but also to write it with ease and fluently to speak it in all situations in order to bring it back to active life and everyday usage.
The Schola Latina Europæa & Universalis will be starting its academic year of life in September .
«I cannot repeat enough how this course has marvelously exceeded expectations [...] It has just been a great course and so enlightening! I have learned more specifically about the active use of the Latin language in this course than I did in all of graduate school. I found the sections on pronunciation and the coinage of neologisms throughout the long history of the Latin language to be particularly instructive and interesting.»
(D. Griffinus, Latin teacher, completed SL I&II 2010-2011)
A. Gratius Avitus
C. Sentius Leoninus